Business mediation may be preferable to litigating a dispute in court.
Small to medium sized businesses in Nebraska may benefit greatly from using mediation instead of litigation to resolve conflicts. As is the case with larger businesses, disputes may arise with competitors, business partners, employees, customers, and vendors, but small business often lack the PR, HR, or legal capacity to address conflicts in the same manner as big businesses. In a closely held business, relationships matter even more.
What starts as a relatively minor dispute can grow into a conflict that overwhelms the business and demands more and more time and money if it goes through the court process. To make matters worse, the dispute may erode the close relationships between those parties involved with running a small business.
Mediation as an alternative dispute resolution method
The ADR procedure of mediation can be a more efficient and effective way to resolve disputes and restore relationships between the business owners, employees, customers and other stakeholders. To learn more about mediation, visit Affirmative Dispute Resolution.
The process of mediation offers a different way to resolve conflict — one that can help you and the other party come to a genuine understanding and find a resolution that addresses both of your needs and interests. In mediation, a neutral third person — the mediator — meets with parties who are having a conflict to help them try to work it out together. Because you and the other party make the agreement together, you are both more likely to keep it. Also, the process of working things out in mediation is an experience you and the other party can draw upon if you run into problems again in the future.
How much does mediation cost in Nebraska?
Mediation is generally much less expensive than litigating a case in court with attorneys fees, expenses and other court costs. Typically when you hire a private mediator who charges by the hour, the costs are shared with the other party. The costs vary depending on the mediator who is selected and his or her background. The process of mediation also goes more quickly, often lasting just hours rather than the months or years that adversarial court cases do.
If you are represented by a lawyer and think you might want to mediate a dispute, ask your lawyer about whether mediation may be worth a try. Your lawyer will likely know a suitable mediator to suggest to the other party in your dispute. In Nebraska, there are six regional community mediation centers that use volunteer or sliding scale mediators and offer very low-cost mediation services. For many disputes, hiring a private mediator who may have a legal background can be useful. Affirmative Dispute Resolution, based in Omaha, has a roster of neutrals available to mediate cases in Nebraska.
What is the outcome of mediation?
Most mediations result in a settlement between the parties in conflict. If the session produces a settlement, the mediator will typically have the parties sign a written settlement agreement or at least a written memorandum of understanding outlining the terms of the settlement. Having an attorney with you to review this agreement is helpful. Depending on the type of dispute and whether the mediation is taking place as part of a court case, the parties may ask the judge to enter the settlement agreement as an order so that it is enforceable in court.
Do you want legal advice on small business law issues in Nebraska?
To learn more about small business law, contact a Nebraska business attorney at Thompson Law Office. Thompson Law Office is a Nebraska law firm with offices in Chadron and west Omaha, NE, and has a small business lawyer available to assist. Call toll-free 1-888-934-0198 or schedule online now a free meet and greet or a formal consultation with an Omaha business lawyer now.
Our Omaha lawyers are available to assist with business law matters in Omaha, Elkhorn, Bennington, Gretna, La Vista, Papillion, Ralston, Bellevue, Fremont, Blair and surrounding communities in Douglas County, Sarpy County, Dodge County, and Washington County. Our Chadron office serves Dawes County, Sheridan County, Box Butte County, and elsewhere in the Nebraska panhandle, including Alliance, Crawford, Gordon and Rushville. Call 1-888-934-0198 to see if we are available in your community.
Thompson Law Office is a Nebraska law firm with offices in Omaha and Chadron that provides its individual, non-profit, business and governmental clients with practical advice and passionate advocacy in a variety of legal matters. Learn more about our general law practice here.
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